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other than...

Sunday, June 25, 2017
... the always entertaining excellent company of the companion who was persuaded to accompany me on the one-day road trip to the east yesterday, the most best part of the day was meeting a cousin for lunch. Our trip to east GA included lunch with J., who lives just over the river into SC. She is such a dear sweet person, after I spend time with her, I find myself wondering why I do not make the effort more often. I had to think a bit to make the familial connection, but conclude she is a second cousin. Her mom and my mom would have been first cousins, as their mothers were sisters, so I think that means we are seconds.

She is such a delightful person, sensible, down to earth,with a wonderful sense of the absurdities of life, I would gladly take her for a sister. I do not remember meeting her as a child, but surely there was some point when we would have been together. Most likely when our grandmothers, the sisters separated by geography, would have made the effort to see each other. I do recall going with my grandma to visit in the small town in east GA where her sister had settled after marriage to a local man. Tiny little town, that is probably in danger of completely drying up, as people have died, moved away, relocated for work/schooling.

It fell to my cousin to empty and sell her grandmother's house, as she gradually realized her mother would not be able to part with the grandparents' home. Where there was so much family history in each corner and closet, stuffed with memories and old correspondence, furniture and knick-knacks with stories attached. It has taken years to sort through everything, but she was finally able to empty the old frame house of furniture and put it on the market. With the hope of finding someone who desired to be so far from fast food, big box stores and amenities found in the busyness of city living.

I know how hard that process of letting go can be. Even after years, the memories draw you back. And you find yourself going to the cemetery, wanting to renew that extinct connection. Reaching through time into the past, trying to keep those people alive in memory. We cannot resurrect the saints, those beloved forebears who have gone on ahead - but I am so thankful for the feeling of connection with family members who are present and dear to my heart .

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